SHERMAN - School superintendents from Sherman and Ripley will continue to meet to discuss services and programs that can be "immediately shared," Sherman Central School Board of Education members were told Wednesday night, Oct. 10.
Sherman Superintendent Kaine Kelly said he and Ripley Superintendent Karen Krause met along with the presidents of both district boards and discussed everything from the history of the districts, enrollment, tuition, consolidation efforts and the issue of a regional high school.
"At the end of it, we all agreed it was a fruitful discussion," Kelly said.
Ripley's school district is considering options for its future, one of which may be sending students full time to other districts. At Sherman's September board meeting, Kelly promised to reach out to Ripley with an offer of assistance. Currently, the districts have an agreement in which Ripley students can play football as part of the Sherman team.
"We are going to look at services and programs that we can share immediately," Kelly said.
In other business, the board reviewed new policies for busing students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grades.
"We are trying to simplify things for teachers and drivers so we know what kids are on what bus," Kelly said.
One change is buses will be identified with a symbol rather than a number, Kelly said. Students in grades pre-kindergarten through fourth will have a corresponding card attached to their backpacks in identification sleeves so drivers can easily identify who belongs on each bus.
Kelly noted Sherman still allows parents to call and ask their child ride a different bus on a given day. In such an instance, the student would receive a pass for that day to go on that bus.
"We want to make it safe and seamless for everyone," he said.
Students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade will be walked to the bus by teachers, staff or aides, Kelly said. Also, a student in those grades will not be dropped off unless there is an adult visible to pick them up.
No bus will leave in the afternoon until attendance for grades pre-kindergarten through sixth is accounted for.
The board also discussed the use of the parent broadcast system. Members asked Kelly to look into customizing the broadcast so it can be used for reasons other than emergencies. When the broadcast system was first created, it was used only for emergencies, However, it became used for more and more announcements until several parents requested it be used less, so it was restored to emergency use only, Kelly said. Now, members of the community have requested it be used to disseminate information about school events.
Kelly suggested a bi-weekly message to update parents. The system can be customized to use only one phone or parents can opt out of it completely, except for emergency situations.
Kelly also reported the school safety committee will be reconvened to work out a complete overhaul of the school's safety policies. Board members Brian Bates and Colleen Meeder will represent the board on that committee with Gary DeLellis as an alternate
The board learned the audit of the school funds has been completed. However, auditor Michael Corey could not be present. He will give a presentation at the November meeting.
The board also voted to create the ski and board club. About 20 students have signed up for the club, which will practice at Peek n Peak resort.